The first graduation ceremony of a number of small and medium entrepreneurs from the Polytechnic of Namibia's business development programme for SME were honoured with graduation certificates recently.
At the event, Rössing's MD, Chris Salisbury, gave the keynote address and said: “At Rössing we believe that by working according to our values we will help sustain long term business success by encouraging more effective relationships and stimulating deeper contributions to our local communities and businesses.”
The first graduates of the Polytechnic of Namibia's business development programme for SME accompanied by Chris Salisbury (far right); Margeret Bennett (third from the left), Director: CED of Polytechnic of Namibia and Jackson Kapuka (second from the right), Manager, Procurement at NamPort.
“I commend to you, our graduates, the Rio Tinto global code of business conduct, The way we work, which captures our values of teamwork, accountability, respect and integrity and impress on you to take on board these principles while conducting your business.”
The graduation ceremony is culmination of a strategic partnership between the Polytechnic of Namibia and Rössing, in an aim to create a self-sufficient and sustainable business community within the Erongo region in Namibia.
Chris continued by saying, “At Rössing we believe we have an obligation to live up to our corporate social responsibility and play a meaningful role in the development of upcoming business enterprises that can take advantage of the billion Namibian dollar procurement budget we spend each year. That is why we commissioned this programme.”
He added that it is sometimes believed that the mining industry is considered as a relatively small generator of direct jobs in comparison to other sectors such as agriculture. “However, what we are witnessing here today is another view of how mining makes its significant contribution through the creation of secondary jobs through contractor companies and businesses.”
Current national statistics indicate that the unemployment rate in Namibia is increasingly worrying, with over 50% of Namibians being unemployed.
“This unacceptable state of affairs calls for an honest dialogue, debate, and subsequent action on how all stakeholders, both private and corporate can singularly or collectively forge the way forward to address this pressing issue,” he added.
It was against this backdrop, that Salisbury believes that the future of Namibia lies in the hands of small and medium enterprises to help create jobs, diversify, and grow our national economy.